Washington, D.C.—Below is a statement by Bryan K. Barnett, President of the United States Conference of Mayors and Mayor of Rochester Hills (MI) on the protests taking place across the country: 

“This country has once again found itself in grief, in anger, and in reflection. Once again, it stems from the unjust death of a black American. Mayors are united in the condemnation of the brutality and discrimination that black Americans continue to experience day after day, year after year in this country. We are also united in support of peaceful expression. Our cities need healing and our people need to be heard. This must be done however without bringing greater pain and destruction to our cities.

“This afternoon we convened a call with police chiefs from major cities to discuss how we keep peace and help our cities mend divisions. In the last few days we have seen leadership from mayors, police chiefs and citizens alike. We serve common cause and must use this moment to create real change. Every American and every level of government has a role to play in ending this painful cycle and ensuring there is equal justice for all. Mayors will be a force for uniting this country in pursuit of that mission.”